5 Things Having a Newborn Has Taught Me 


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We just welcomed home Joshua Phillip, our fourth baby boy. By the fourth time around, this whole birthing process should be old hat, right? Well, yes. Kind of. But this time I was utterly amazed and overwhelmed by a few things; I don’t know if these feelings were necessarily new, but I want to share them with you, since I feel like in the whirlwind that is having a new baby, they may get lost. And maybe if I write about them, I won’t forget them this time.   


  1. Our bodies are an incredibly amazing miracle. The fact that we can grow a perfect, healthy, fully functioning human being, push it out of a tiny hole, and stand up to go to the bathroom an hour later is UNBELIEVABLE. The fact that less than a week ago, I gave birth to a child, and today I can make dinner, drive a car, go to a concert at school, it’s crazy. Think about it. 
  2. Night 2 and Day 3 suck. Or should I say your baby sucks – a lot – in this 36 hr span. No one really tells you about “cluster feeding,” and that it’s to be expected during these times, and that it will go away once your milk comes in. Or that it helps your milk come in. Get ready to have a baby attached to your boob for those 36 hours. It’s ok. In fact, it’s necessary. And it won’t be that way forever. 
  3. Say yes when people offer to help. I have a hard time letting go of control and letting other people do things for me. With a new baby and 3 other littles needing every bit of attention, love, patience, and wisdom that I have to give (and then some more), I’m learning to say yes. So, WARNING: don’t offer to help me unless you mean it. 
  4. Balls are going to get dropped and it will all be okay. So far this week I’ve missed library day for both boys, I forgot about Alex’s weekly OT appointment, and my camera’s batteries were dead at the Spring Fine Arts Night program. Oh well. This would have driven me crazy in the past. I’m lettin’ it roll nowadays. Life goes on. And as it turns out, people are very understanding and gracious right after you have a baby! 
  5. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel overwhelming sadness for your former “baby” upon bringing home the new baby. It’s okay to eat every meal with a baby on your boob, or a kid on your lap. It’s okay to be needed. It’s okay not to be needed. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s okay to be annoyed. It’s okay because it will all be okay and you’re doing your best. You’re the best mom you can be – in that moment. Your kids love you. Always and forever.   

Peters Potty Training 3.0. Potty Training in Less than 1 Week!!


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I have 3 boys. They say potty training boys is harder than girls. To that I say, “phooey!” Five years ago when I was potty training my first son, one of my best friends in all the land shared a potty training strategy that worked for her kids. I trust her, so I tried it.

Potty Training the Nudey Way.

Sounds scary. And messy. You mean I just let my kid pee on the floor?!? Yup. I’m telling you, it works. I’ve done it with three kids. Three kids who are all very different. The last two had absolutely no interest in going on the potty. None. At. All. But it was time. They were old enough to tell me they had pooped and they didn’t like sitting in it for long.

Here’s what you do:

1. Pick a weekend/time when you know you will be home for 3 days straight. Commit to it. The first day/day and a half will be hard. You can do it. It will get better and it will SOOOO be worth it. You will question whether this is the right time for your child, after day 1. It is. They will get it. Hang in there.

2. Let your child be naked from the waist down. We do this for 3 days, then move on to underwear.


Andrew, ready to get this started!

3. Show your child where the potty is, have them sit on it. Give potty treats (make this something small – you’ll be giving a lot of them over the next week) for tries, and potty victories. If you only give for victories, they will not want to sit on the potty and try.

4. Wait. Wait for the first accident. Your child will pee on the floor, or the couch, or the chair. It’s going to happen. When it does, pick them up and bring them to the potty and tell them “we go potty in the potty, not on the floor. Do you want to try to go more and get a potty treat?”

5. Clean up the potty accident.

6. Watch for cues that your child may have to go potty. Ask your child to try to sit on the potty every 15 minutes, or so. The first morning of training we spend A LOT of time in the bathroom. Get comfy in there. Play in there, read books, and do a lot of sitting on the potty chair.


Spending some quality time on the potty.

7. Get super duper, over the top excited when your child pees in the potty!!! Give extra treats or a different/better treat for a victory.


Having fun!!

8. Be prepared for a few more accidents while they are learning. Be smart about where they sit and what they’re sitting on. Put a towel or waterproof mat under them on the highchair. Do the same while they sit on the couch. Don’t get angry with them for having an accident. Simply clean it up and explain again that pee pee goes in the potty.

9. If you start on Friday and stay home all weekend, your child will be trained by Monday. Then you can move to phase 2: wearing underwear on Monday or Tuesday. This adds in another day or 2 of teaching them to pull down their pants before they sit down, but you’ll be surprised how fast this goes!

10. Naptime, bedtime, and going out in public (shopping, the park, etc) are when they wear pull ups until you’ve got a history of no accidents. This is out of pure laziness as a mother of 3 boys (I don’t want to change wet clothes when we’re at Target, or get pee all over the cart). At home and at daycare we wear underwear and allow the occasional accident to happen. They will happen. It’s ok. If your kids are anything like any of mine, it will happen when they’re deep in play and they just forget. Maybe a handful of times.

That’s it!! I’ve cleaned up 5 accidents since Friday. It’s Wednesday. He’s gone without accidents since Sunday afternoon. Totally worth it to be done in less than a week’s time and out of diapers with pull ups used as a back up only, not a glorified (more expensive) diaper!

Good luck!


150 Questions


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This afternoon Alex and I took a ride out to Rockford to visit with my sister and her fam. It’s about a 35-minute ride each way and I took a tally of how many questions I answered in total, round trip. 150. 150 questions.

Questions like…
Are we on the highway?
Where are those cars going?
Where are those people going?
What are those people doing?
What did you say?
What was the name of the place where we saw Snoopy and Charlie Brown?
Can we go there again?
Can we bring Ethan and Ella?
What road does Aunt Kate live on?
Can I leave my toy in the car?
Can Ella come over?
What’s her sister’s name?
Can I have a piece of gum?
Can I have a snack?

…. Just a relaxing ride enjoying the fall colors and a five-year-old’s take on the world.


Ramblings of a Second Grade Boy


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I had to get these down “on paper” and they were too good not to share…

J: Mom, What’s it like to be a girl?
M: it’s pretty awesome.
J: well, you have to do your hair all the time and it takes a long time so I don’t think it’d be good.
M: yeah, but it’s fun to do my hair and get dressed up. I like it.
J: well on wacky hair day, all I have to do is comb my hair down. You take a lot of time to get ready. That’s why you’re always late.
M: true. Maybe I should wake up earlier.
J: yeah, like when Alex does.
(Hells no).


J: (while watching football) Mom, do you think anyone can throw a ball all the way across the whole field?
M: I’m not sure. That’s a very long way.
J: I know someone who can. He could throw it all the way around the world. GOD.
M: yup.
J: I’d like to see a football game played between Jesus and God.


J: Country music is my fifth favorite thing. It goes: God, Jesus, my family, the Bible, and country music.

And without fail, just before he hops out of the car to run into school…
J: Hey mom, do you think my penis is touching my underwear right now?

Unreal. I didn’t even know where to go with that one.



Sometimes You Could Be Better

This past weekend I was laying with Joseph (7) for some snuggle time before bedtime. He nuzzled in close and said, “Mom, you’re the best mom in the whole world.”

I said, “Thanks, buddy. That’s so nice of you to say that. Sometimes I don’t feel like the best mom.”

“Why?” He asked.

“I feel like I yell a lot.”

He quickly answered, “You do yell a lot.” ouch “There are times when there are better moms in the world than you,” double ouch “but right now I think you’re the best mom in the world.”

Out of the mouths of babes…


The Best Mom in the Whole World


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A few nights ago, in typical pre-Mother’s Day fashion, Joseph asked me this question while we were laying in bed: “Mom, who do you think is the best mom in the whole world?”

Here we go, I thought. This is gonna be good. He’s going to tell me how great I am. Time to talk about my awesomeness as a mother. I’m game.

I didn’t want to boast, so I replied, “I would say it’s a tie between Nana and Grandma. They were awesome moms to Daddy and me.

“Nope.” He said.

yup, I knew it… Here it comes. I’m walking right alongside his thought path. I love this kid.

“Mary.” He lead on, “Mary was the best mom in the whole world.”

Wow. Mary? Good answer. Must have been tough raising a son who was incapable of sin. Falon, slow your role. Mary had to watch her son suffer. Suffer the most unbearable death. For your salvation. Get over yourself.

“You’re right! Mary was the best mom. She was Jesus’ mom! And that’s so awesome.”

“Yeah, but mom, if God was Jesus’ dad and Mary was married to Joseph, was she also married to God??”

Crap. Here we go. Of course he picks a time to ask this when Ben’s out of town….

“No, she wasn’t married to God. God made her pregnant by a miracle.”


“Oh, ok. Do you know who is the best mom that I’ve ever met?”

yeah, baby. THIS is my time!!

And sure enough, it was. I love that boy to pieces.


A Question A Day With My Kids – Update


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Q&A a Day For Kids

As you may recall, in 2012 my mom got me this book Q&A a Day for Kids. I failed miserably at keeping up, as I do with all things in my life that are “extras.” We made it through April in 365 days… but I’m not letting that stop me. I’ll keep going not paying attention to the dates and write down their silly answers. Some may be a year apart, and some may be three. Does anyone care? I didn’t think so.

Alex, now 4, has picked up some new themes – as you may recall, he was obsessed with Target at the beginning on 2013. But due to a relocation of the store further from our home (BOOOO!!), Target has exited the brain and has been replaced with wrestling.


Q: What sounds do you hear around you?
A (Joseph): Daddy cleaning some grease off, Alex eating, and Mommy writing.
A (Alex): Bats and tigers.

Q: What are you thankful for today?
A (Joseph): I’m thankful for Jesus.
A (Alex): I’m thankful I can hope.

Q: What is your favorite thing in nature?
A (Joseph): Grass because it’s really soft.
A (Alex): Going in a tunnel.

Q: What do you really like about yourself today?
A (Joseph): I like that I gave the tattoos to my friends.
A (Alex): I like to play wrestle.

Q: What did you do this week to keep your body strong and healthy?
A (Joseph): Eat lots of food – fruit and vegetables.
A (Alex): Eat rice.

Q: When were you brave?
A (Joseph): When I heard lots of noises in my room and I slept still…and when Santa was here.
A (Alex): When Santa came here and I played wrestle with him.

Q: Describe what your Dad does for his job.
A (Joseph): Traveling.
A (Alex): He works with tools.

Q: What advice do you have about keeping friends?
A (Joseph): Say thank you for the stuff that they do, give ‘em a pound and give ‘em a high five.
A (Alex): Play ring around the rosie.

Q: Which one of your senses is your favorite? Why?
A (Joseph): Tasting. I like to taste candy.
A (Alex): Smell. I like to smell things and then see them.

Q: What is the best thing about your life right now?
A (Joseph): Oh that’s easy! Having friends and having family.
A (Alex): Playing with Leo.

Q: What do you wish you had more time for these days?
A (Joseph): More time for being outside.
A (Alex): Taking somebody’s beyblades.

Q: If you ruled the world, what would you change?
A (Joseph): I would not have people go in time out and I would just take away stuff – like books.
A (Alex): My bathing suit and my underwear.

Q: What is your favorite way to get around?
A (Joseph): Ride my bike or my scooter.
A (Alex): I like to go through the woods.

Q: Who is the oldest person you know?
A (Joseph): Grandpa Peters and Munga.
A (Alex): Ryer.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
A (Joseph): Really fast at Legos because I want to get really good at them.
A (Alex): GRRR! And running. Because I like it.

Q: If _______, things would be a lot better.
A (Joseph): the world changed and we could always wrestle
A (Alex): my animals would be an alarm

Q: What have you done lately to help the planet?
A (Joseph): Cleaned up
A (Alex): I helped the aliens

Q: I hate it when ________.
A (Joseph): somebody chews on my toys, or takes my toys.
A (Alex): somebody takes my toys away or takes my family to jail.

Q: Whom do you look up to? Why?
A (Joseph): God, because he’s in my heart.
A (Alex): Morgan, because I like her.

There you have it, folks! The inner-workings of my kids’ brains… wrestling, playing, toys, and…. family in jail???? I plead the fifth on that one! ;)

Snow Day Fun


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It’s January 6th. The supposed first day back to school after winter break. Only today we’re at home again. For the 18th day in a row; but who’s counting?

Snow days like this – emergency snow days – call for deep reaches into the patience bucket and high doses of tolerance. Throughout today’s adventures I’ve learned something: as long as I’m standing in the room where the action is, just watching, things go very well. As soon as I walk out, it all falls apart. Not much getting done that way, but my sanity is more important than chores today. I feel like a purple minion – about to explode at any minute.


So here’s how we’re surviving 30 billion inches of snow that we’re not allowed to play in due to 100 below wind chills.

First, we find every pillow and blanket in the house and make “a pile” and then jump off the furniture into said “pile.” At 8am.

This sweet action shot was taken by Alex of Joseph. Not exactly blog worthy, but whatever, you get the point.

The infamous pile gets moved into many rooms throughout the house so we can try out various dismounts from differing heights.

Next, we pull out the solo cups and build towers. This entertained them for a good 45 minutes and then finding every Lego guy we own to put on each piece of the tower swallowed up another 20-30 minutes. Brilliant.


After the tower fell, I diffused the anger and disappointment with another project! 2 words that solve any problem: rocket launcher. We made rocket launchers out of the solo cups. Pinterest is a beautiful thing.


There was a little of this in there, too.


And now it’s nap time so we’re eating popcorn and watching Disney junior. (Oh yeah, that bruise on his forehead is from an unsuccessful pile jump. Oh well).

Snow day success!


Dora the…Planker??


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My son, Alex, loves Dora. He has since he was 18 months old. I don’t mind it. I bought him Dora sippy cups, and made him Dora birthday cakes… We read Dora books and play Dora games. No big deal, right?

Well, yesterday I downloaded the Dora’s fantastic gymnastics app on my phone for him. And tonight I found these saved on my phone…





Who knew Dora could plank?? What’s next, photos of Dora twerking?!?

Never a dull moment!

T’was the Night Before School


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T’was the night before school
And all through the kitchen
Momma was stirring
While the kids were all bitchin’

I don’t want to go to bed!
I don’t want to go to school!
I hate hot lunch!
These clothes are not cool!

Momma couldn’t be happier to see them off the next day
Eat your breakfast!
Use your manners!
Have a great day!

6 hours of silence
As she rode in her sleigh
To the bank, to the store, maybe a latte!
The first day of school was her favorite day!

But after noon passed
The clock didn’t seem to stir
The house was too quiet
No one needed her

3pm rolled around
And the kids got off the bus
She couldn’t wait to hear their tales
She missed all the fuss

It wasn’t easy being Momma
Day after day
But her heart felt empty without them
At time spent away

She hugged her babies tight that night
As she began to think,
Only the second day of school tomorrow
But the years are gone in a blink

*Blessings to all of my momma friends tomorrow on your kids’ first day of school. I know I’m ready, but somehow I know I will miss them come the slow afternoon! Thank God for the amazing teachers and staff that care for them while they are out of our watchful sight.


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